Home Forums Guitar Instructor Sarah Spisak Learning sounds of intervals

This topic contains 17 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Sarah Spisak 1 month ago.

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  • #32781

    vadimuha
    Participant

    How do I learn sound of interval or scale degree?

  • #32783

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    Hi Vadim! I know that you own Melodic Principles… I designed the exercises (riffs and solos) to help you learn the sounds of the intervals and scale degrees. How far into the program are you? 🙂

  • #32790

    vadimuha
    Participant

    Scale degrees

  • #32792

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    There seem to be many different drills but the important thing Id say, which is often glossed over.. do the exercise(s) every day for at least a few months. the sound really has to get ‘ingrained’. I’m still not that good at all of them, only good at a few, but when i’ve improved, it was because of repeating 5 days per week for 2+ months and only then it it start to begin to sink in (I didnt see any real improvement in the first 2-3 weeks). I would guess that dedicated musicians do some warmups like this every day of their lives even after decades of doing them.. It is easy to go thru the program and say “Yeah OK, I got that” when really.. it hasnt become that ‘automatic’ recognition and needs much more practice.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #32798

    grondak
    Participant

    Definitely do the exercises in Melodic Principles. Listen to what is played, don’t play it to finish the piece. Sarah says, “you play music with your ears, not with your hands and eyes.” I have also transcribed for myself the music in Melodic Principles. I’m not done– I’m at exercise 147 in MPRG 3. Transcribing tunes your ear and also your sense of key and scale. You can use the provided tab/sheet music to check yourself. I do the following:

    For each etude that has a backing track with bass, rhythm guitar, and drums, I will:

      Learn the piece roughly
      Find the rhythm of the piece and then make a drum track for it in Guitar Pro with the kick/snare/ride components so I can have something to nail the notes to later
      Mark down the notes in the piece of a tab sheet without regard for note timing or duration
      Compare what I have to the published materials
      Divide the tab into measures by counting which notes are in each measure
      Compare what I have to the published materials
      Measure-by-measure, I’ll add the correct timing by translating the notes into Guitar Pro
      Compare what I have to the published materials
      At some unspecified future time, I will fix the drums, bass, and rhythm guitar tracks

    Metal Method is helping me across the board!

  • #32799

    grondak
    Participant

    First clue: Take it SLOWLY.

    For example, ex 147 in Melodic Principles for Rock Guitar 3 is in 4 modes (A Phrygian Dominant, D Phrygian Dominant, G Phrygian Dominant, and finally one note from a scale with C as the root). Listening to the piece, I can clearly hear 16th notes all through it, so I made a GP file with a 16th note flavor to it.

    Then I Use a looper to tab out the guitar bits. Amazing Slow Downer (Windows) or iRehearse Plus (Mac) will save you! Sarah says, “Use the EQ in the looper to filter away the other instruments.” I marked out all 13 measures over the course of a week (yes, I’m slow). I checked my work with Sarah’s and found some subtle mistakes. 😉

    Then I put the measure marks in between notes. Checked again– no mistakes. My next step is to mark the duration of the notes and put the work into Guitar Pro.I’ll add a rough bassline for some harmonic context (probably strum or arpeggiate the m7 of each mode’s root, because that chord is in Phygian Dominant)

    Eventually, I’ll have a note-accurate and hamonically-sound version of ex 147. And so on, until I’ve sped up this process by finishing MPRG3. There are 11 exercises with backing tracks left to go after 147.

    Last clue: Take it SLOWLY.
    I often play at 50% of Sarah’s original speed to learn a piece and can sometimes only play it at 60%!!

    Metal Method is helping me across the board!

  • #32806

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the replies! Yes, it definitely takes some time to develop this skill. There are many examples in Melodic Principles which are very simple and I think some people learn the riffs and move on. This is especially true of the early examples in Volume One. 🙂

  • #32808

    vadimuha
    Participant

    And how good of a skill is it? IF I learn intervals by sound, what would I be able to do?

  • #32813

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Not knowing the sound of intervals and scales is kind of like being illiterate. No one accepts not being able to read, in today’s world, because it is necessary for so many things in life, it’s shameful not knowing how to read. So similarly, knowing sound is linked to everything in music.. knowing if something is played right, or learning by listening, or writing new solos or songs.. Although tab is all around, most of it is wrong, just flat out incorrect, even if dozens of people online say it’s correct, it is often not, entire parts off by several intervals (I can give bad tab examples easily). Having a good ear is the only way to go… plus when getting into vocals, that is nearly all ear skill. I kinda assumed I’d learn it by osmosis since other people have, but it seems not, and I really have to work at it.. Maybe the real gifted musicians who have the natural talent for it, have biased us all, into believing it comes easily to everyone. Certainly not true for me, so watch out, it could take a lot of regular effort.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! ♯ ♮ ♭ ø ° Δ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #35827

    dragos
    Participant

    Late to this party:

    Try the George Benson trick of singing the notes as you play the exercises.
    Then try singing the exercises without playing.
    Lastly, try to hear the intervals in your head without singing or playing.

    Some people like to relate intervals to a song they all ready know.

    For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_1mA8XFp4c

  • #35837

    Fab
    Participant

    Joining the party too:

    Music is like a house, the roots notes and rhythms being the foundations. We go up and down the stairs, we even run up and down the stairs without counting the steps. When it gets tricky, we slow down or we stop and count. Many times we don’t. With time and practice, most of us just hear the intervals and degrees without counting.

  • #35838

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    Joining the party too:

    Music is like a house, the roots notes and rhythms being the foundations. We go up and down the stairs, we even run up and down the stairs without counting the steps. When it gets tricky, we slow down or we stop and count. Many times we don’t. With time and practice, most of us just hear the intervals and degrees without counting.

    It’s the same with rhythm; I only count when I am transcribing or reading written music- not when playing! 🙂

  • #36871

    ALAG
    Participant

    I am in Melodic Principles-Part I-Intervals. I am nowhere near recognizing the sounds of all intervals yet. I definitely understand the concepts. Does one need to recognize the sounds of all intervals before moving onto Part II?

    • #36872

      Sarah Spisak
      Keymaster

      It takes some time! Just move on to Part II. The main thing is that you pay attention to the theory and concepts. Some people have just learned the riffs and played the examples but did not think about them or learn anything from them. That’s not ideal. LOL

  • #36873

    vinay
    Participant

    Next to the excellent courses from Sarah, you may like to check Lead Guitar DNA by DJ Nelson (also on Metal Method). Sometimes it helps to see similar matter in different ways for it to hit home.

  • #36874

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    Thanks, Vinay! Dee J is a great teacher. 🙂

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